Re­port: ‘High threat’ border ar­rests off tar­get

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION + WORLD -

Driv­ers in Texas busted for drunken driv­ing, not pay­ing child sup­port or low-level drug of­fenses are among thou­sands of “high­threat” crim­i­nal ar­rests be­ing counted as part of a nearly $1 bil­lion mis­sion to se­cure the border with Mex­ico, an As­so­ci­ated Press anal­y­sis has found.

Hav­ing once claimed that con­ven­tional crime data don’t fully cap­ture the dan­gers to pub­lic safety and home­land se­cu­rity, the Texas Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safety clas­si­fied more than 1,800 of­fend­ers ar­rested near the border by high­way troop­ers in 2015 as “high threat crim­i­nals.”

But not all live up to that men­ac­ing la­bel or were any­where close to the border, as Repub­li­can Lt. Gov. Dan Pa­trick has sug­gested.

In re­sponse to the AP’s find­ings, the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safety said it will rec­om­mend re­mov­ing child-sup­port evaders from the list and sig­naled a will­ing­ness to stop clas­si­fy­ing other ar­rests as “high threat.”

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